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  • Writer's pictureJeff Monday

The Old Man and the Bicycle

Once upon a time, there was an old man near the end of his life. Before he died, he wished to visit his childhood home. Spending the last of his money, he traveled for many days until finally he came to his old neighborhood. As he stood in front of the house he grew up in, he wondered at the changes. He barely recognized the building. It had been painted a new color which was now faded. The trees he had planted with his own hands now towered over his head. Shaking his head, he walked through the streets of his old neighborhood, trying to recognize landmarks. But so much had changed in those many years that it felt like a new city to him.

Despondent, he came across a group of children playing. On a whim, he asked one of the boys if he could borrow the lad’s bicycle for a while. Amused at the thought of seeing an old man riding his bike, the boy agreed. Although wobbly at first, the old man kept his balance and slowly pedaled down the street. As he went, muscles long dormant woke up. The more he pedaled, the lighter he felt as his body remembered biking down those same streets. He felt young again. His legs followed old routes without his guidance. His body knew where he was. He looked up at the buildings and trees and smiled. And it was only then, at the end of his days, did he feel truly alive. For now he saw the world with two sets of eyes; one that remembered the past and another that saw things as they were now.

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